Thorsten Hüller
Assessing EU strategies for publicity

Journal of European Public Policy, 2007: 14, Heft 4, S. 563-581
ISSN: 1350-1763

The article shows why European Union (EU) strategies to improve democratic legitimacy by strengthening its publicity have (unnecessarily) failed. Due to an ‘under-theorized’ image of democracy, the institutional means chosen are inappropriate to draw the expected public attention and as a consequence most of the aims pursued. Most importantly it misses (in accordance with most of the literature on the EU’s democratic deficit) the important distinction between mere transparency and publicity: For improving democratic legitimacy it is not enough for political acts and processes to be published (to be transparent), they also have to be sufficiently perceived by European citizens. This holds true for any democratic theory, even if there might be differences in their specific expectations of publicity.